Online shopping spend at $21 billion ahead of 10% GST increase

Aussies spent $21 billion online shopping in the last year — but new changes to GST could cause a dip on overseas purchases

Our love of retail therapy appears to have returned with Australians shopping online in huge numbers. Love it or loathe it — it’s a simple concept that has revolutionised retail. But with extra GST being added to online purchases from July 1, could those sales be about to slow down?

According to new research from Australia Post, we’re splurged a staggering $21billion dollars in the past year.

“It’s really here to stay.  Over the last decade it’s been incredible to see growth – many would say it’s still beginning,” Paul Greenberg from the National Online Retailers Association said.

Globally, in the past year, two trillion dollars worth of goods have been purchased online, but, new laws are about to make our favourite purchases more expensive.

And the $21 billion that was spent right here in Australia equates to a spike of more than 18% on what we splurged the year before. Overall, online retail sales are far outgrowing total retail sales — which rose just 2.5%.

“We really love shopping from eBay. We had Amazon come into the market last year, but also had places like Myer and Catch of the Day launch marketplace offerings,” Ben Franzi from Australia Post said.

With fashion, beauty, homewares and books the biggest drawcards – delivery figures show residents in Liverpool, Campbelltown and Gosford are proving to be some of the biggest consumers online in New South Wales, while Point Cook, Cranbourne, and Hoppers Crossing are some of the biggest spenders in Victoria and Toowoomba, Mackay and Bundaberg are proving to be some of the main online shoppers in Queensland.

“They’re certainly enjoying the choice, convenience and then the benefit of home delivery and they’re not able to pop out to the shops like we can,” Greenberg said. 

Though our total retail sector is worth more than $300-billion — online sales making up close to 7% — come July 1 and 10% GST will be slapped on overseas purchases less that $1,000.  And while that naturally raises concerns about whether people will continue to shop online, Greenberg suggested focusing your spend domestically. 

“There’s so much good offer available domestically that my sense is — if you’ve got some coins jingling in your back pocket keep your shopping here locally,” Greenberg said.

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